of a meeting of the

Scrutiny Committee


held on Monday, 31 July 2023at 7.00 pm

at Abbey House, Abbey Close, Abingdon OX14 3JE



Open to the public, including the press


Present in the meeting room:

Councillors: Katherine Foxhall (Chair), Judy Roberts (Vice-Chair), Hayleigh Gascoigne, Ron Batstone, Oliver Forder and Robert Maddison

Officers: Adrianna Partridge (Deputy Chief Executive – Transformation and Operations) and Candida Basilio (Democratic Services Officer)

Cabinet member: Councillor Sue Caul (Affordable Housing)


Also present:

Officer: Paul Fielding (Head of Housing and Environment) and Suzanne Malcolm (Deputy Chief Executive – Place)




1.        Apologies for absence


There were no apologies for absence.




2.     Urgent business and chair's announcements


There was no urgent business or announcements.




3.     Declaration of interests


There were no declarations of interest.




4.     Minutes of the last meeting



The minutes of the meeting on 12th July 2023 were agreed as a correct record, and the chair will sign them as such.




5.     Work schedule and dates for all Vale and Joint scrutiny meetings


The committee noted the work programme.

A report was requested on the Beacon. Deputy Chief Executive for Transformation and Operations would follow up with the relevant officers on what could come forward and when.




6.     Public participation


There were no public speakers.




7.     Section 106 affordable housing funding


Cabinet member for affordable housing introduced the report. This was a requested refresh of the strategy for applications for bids for affordable housing. Aims to ensure bidders are clear on requirements before applying, and criteria will be given which will be used by officers for bid assessment.


The committee considered the report and policy document (plus application form) for Section 106 affordable housing funding.


The committee asked questions of the cabinet member (Cllr Sue Caul) and officers Paul Fielding and Suzanne Malcolm.

There was understanding that the policy was designed to encourage applications and ensure the funding was used up, not deterring smaller and different types of bidder.


The committee did make a range of observations on the report to Cabinet, and the policy. Although members did not vote on a recommendation, they were in agreement that officers and the cabinet members should action where possible the following suggestions that Scrutiny offer for improvement. It was noted that South Oxfordshire’s scrutiny committee would being doing the same exercise and there would be joint discussions between south and vale cabinet members, in order to agree the best wording that would encourage bidders and stand by the aims of the councils. Officers and the cabinet member explained that the aim was to get the money spent and keep the policy open to many types of developer and not deter schemes that could potentially be worthwhile. Ensure that smaller bidders can access support to develop suitable schemes. The points below summarise the suggestions to be taken forward.









The meeting closed at 8.33 pm




Chair:                                                                                     Date: